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How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

Just how long does meth stay in your system? Read on to find out the answer to that question along with the symptoms of meth addiction.

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an extremely potent stimulant substance. You can get meth in powder form, crystal, or tablet form.2

Pseudoephedrine and other harmful compounds, including acetone, fertilizer (anhydrous ammonia), and lithium, are used to create meth, along with other substances found in over-the-counter cold remedies.3

How Long Is a Meth High?

Injecting meth is the most common method of taking the drug, as it is often the quickest way of creating the high that the body craves. Instead of a quick high, those using meth might experience a long-lasting high, generally accompanied by an increase in physical activity that can last up to half a day instead of only a few minutes. An immensely delightful feeling known as a "rush" or "flash" occurs when one takes meth.4

When using meth, the duration of the effects may range from eight hours to a full day for some people. However, it also depends on factors such as the dosage, the time of day, and the route of administration (intravenous, oral, or smoking). It also depends on the state of the user's kidneys, liver, and other factors unique to each person. The meth effects on the heart are often disastrous if used over a long period of time.

The Half-Life of Methamphetamine

The half-life of methamphetamine is the measure of how long it takes your body to remove half of the quantity of meth consumed. Meth has a half-life of nine hours to a day. In other words, it takes nine to twenty-four hours for your blood meth level to be halved and for the high to start to wear off.

Factors Influencing How Long Meth Remains in Your Blood

You may detect meth use in various ways, and a range of variables might affect the results of a detection test.


This diagnostic technique is the most commonly used since it is reasonably fast and non-invasive. The client on the test urinates into a cup, which is subsequently examined to ascertain the concentrations of various chemicals.


Meth may be found in the bloodstream for up to twenty-five hours after the previous use, based on its half-life.


A tongue or mouth swab containing an absorbent substance is used for saliva testing. Saliva tests have a detection window up to two days after the previous usage.


Meth may be found employing hair testing. Meth consumed up to ninety days earlier may be detected in only a few-inch-long sample of the user's hair.

Factors Which Affect How Long Methamphetamine Stays in Your System

The only way to guarantee a negative drug test is to refrain from taking meth and other drugs, even if many variables may affect how long meth remains in your system.

The following variables might affect the effects and concentrations of methamphetamine:

  • Administration route
  • Dosage
  • Use frequency and duration
  • Metabolism

  • The drug's purity

Given the conditions mentioned earlier, it is difficult to predict precisely how long methamphetamine will last in your system.

Effects of Meth

Meth enhances the brain's ability to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for the motivation, movement of the body, and reward-seeking. It acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system (CNS).

Roughly five minutes after snorting meth, or fifteen to thirty minutes after ingesting meth, users begin to experience the effects. Meth's effects often unfold in a three-staged pattern as follows:

The Rush

Dopamine fills your brain at the start of the "rush" feeling. It typically takes around half an hour for the process to end.

The High

For the next four to sixteen hours, the user will be high. Quickened speech, enhanced awareness, compulsive conduct, and rapid thought processes are all signs that someone is feeling the effects of the drug.

The Crash

Meth users may start to "tweak" after the effects of the drug wear off. Symptoms of withdrawal might now begin to occur at this stage. Insomnia and itchiness are possible side effects at this stage.

Short-Term Impacts

The short-term effects of meth include:

  • Lack of cohesion and balance

  • Agitation
  • A lack of focus
  • Restlessness

  • Having a hard time following instruction

  • Distortion of the passage of time

  • Sluggish reactions

Long-Term Impacts

The long-term effects of methamphetamine include:

  • Sores on the skin caused by scratching
  • Malnutrition
  • Sleep problems
  • Drastic reduction in body weight

  • Changes in the way your brain works

  • Severe oral health issues (for example, "meth mouth")5

  • Hallucinations

  • Loss of memory

  • Anxiety-related aggressiveness

Drug Testing for Meth

Urine Test

Blood Test

Saliva Test

Hair Test

How to Get Meth Out of Your System

how long does meth stay in your system

Methamphetamine Withdrawal and Detox

  • Increased appetite
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

  • Achy muscles

How Long do Meth Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

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